We present a method for the propagation of partially coherent radiation using coherent mode decomposition and wavefront propagation. The radiation field is decomposed into a sum of independent coherent modes. Each mode is then propagated separately using conventional wavefront propagation techniques. The summation of these modes in the plane of observation gives the coherence properties of the propagated radiation. As an example, we analyze propagation of partially coherent radiation transmitted through a single circular aperture.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.